A Culinary Exploration of Cali-for-ni-a

Recently I was blessed to be able to travel to beautiful Anaheim, California to celebrate the milestone success of my special guy.

The trip was so excellent and so exclusive that I wasn’t able to take pictures during any of the corporate festivities. That means I don’t have anything to show for the food they lavished us with from the time of our arrival to the time we departed. So no photographs of the gourmet meals of filet mignon and grilled chicken. No quick pics of the Asian buffet, Mexican buffet, slider buffet, and sandwich buffet (with the best Orzo E-V-E-R). No visuals of the breakfast samplings so abundant and assorted they would rival any Cracker Barrel and Shoney’s combined (except they were gourmet). And no captured memories of the unlimited Mickey ears ice cream, cake pops, chocolate ganache dessert, churros and liquid elixirs of kiddie strength and much stronger.

Not to fret though, the beautiful Disneyland Hotel and ALL the nibblets of goodness around, and an hour and a half away in North Hollywood proved to be just the perfect sampling of food, food, food!

I won’t do it a disservice by trying to describe it all. Sometimes the pictures simply have to speak for themselves. I will say, the next time you’re in Anaheim for a trip to Disneyland, be sure to visit LaBrea Bakery in Downtown Disney for the crab cake sandwich, the fried chicken sandwich with crunchy slaw and a secret sauce, hibiscus lemonade and the perfectly prepared medium-plus burger oozing with juices and flavor.

When you’re adventurous do decide to hop in an Uber and travel all the way to Los Angeles in rush hour to realize why Oprah felt compelled to give Miss Robbie a show because the TJ’s Sweetie Pie’s fried chicken seasoned through and through, macaroni and cheese with abundant perfectly cinched cheese on top, collard greens choked full of meat, peach cobbler better than somebody’s southern Grandmama and lemony-sweet lemonade were enough to write home about. Or at least call and wake up your Mama like I did.  It truly was the BEST soul food this Bama bred girl has ever, ever had. Hands down. Sorry mama and all of my many matriarchs.

When you’re in the Disneyland don’t leave without the butteriest ear of corn you’ve ever had. And be certain to sprinkle visits to The Counter Custom Built Burgers in LAX and Uno Pizzeria Express in Chicago’s O’Hare airport (home of the planned layover to sample some pizza or Chi-town dogs) into your plans. And please, people, whatever you do, don’t ever leave the Happiest Place on Earth without enjoying the magic that is the Disneyland Hotel’s Mickey Mouse cookies, sans the milk for those of us intolerant:)

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Parmesean and Garlic Fries from Counter Custom Built Burgers.png

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Fried Chicken and Slaw with Secret Sauce at La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney

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Cookies and Milk from Mickey

@AngelaMMoore316

Get Your Soul Food

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“Come and Get Your Soul Food, Good, Old-Fashioned Soul Food”…

Those simple lyrics to a popular, old school hip-hop song by ATL’s own Goodie Mob have been fluttering through my spirit for a while. There’s something about food…spirital food, natural food and of course, soul food that does a body good.

Being a Christian under constant renovation, spiritual food and I have really gotten to know each other so much better over the last decade or so. I love spiritual food. I believe in Jesus. I read the Bible, pray, go to church and even in my daily failure, try to be aware of, and live in a way pleasing to God.

Being a blossoming “foodie”, I’ve taken a sincere affection to many things edible. Natural food and I are friends. I like cooking food, watching food being cooked and eating food. I spend time learning about food, visiting restaurants, challenging my palate and seeking new recipes.

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Being a human, that’s subject to the pains of being human, I’ve come to appreciate the value of soul food now, more than ever. I’m not talking about fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, pound cake or potato salad. I’m talking about the kind of food that feeds your soul when it’s starved, deprived or despondent, or feeds it to keep if from any of the aforementioned. Spiritual food and natural food are often easier to receive and much easier to recognize. Our soul is so important. It houses our will, intellect, morals and emotions. Soul food is a must! And strategically enough, what happens with the natural food and spiritual food we intake also affects our soul. But what do we do about finding food for our soul?

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  • Get appropriate rest and ample relaxation.
  • Take breaks to enjoy life and be refreshed.
  • Seek help for what hurts you.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Be honest with yourself about your struggles.
  • Hear the wisdom of others as they lovingly point out areas of opportunity in your life.
  • Don’t be afraid to do how you “do you” differently if it’s going to help you, especially if you’ve seen it negatively affect you or those you love.
  • Surround yourself with proof in the areas in which you struggle. Don’t be the juiciest grape in your bunch.
  • De-clutter your mind. Rid yourself of things which rid you of the right things to think upon.
  • Plan your day on purpose.
  • Stay organized.
  • Deal with tragedy quickly and as often as needed.
  • Foster techniques to stay calm or be calmed. Count to ten. Say a quick prayer. Spin around on your head five times or whatever is needed to keep your inner peace.
  • Think before you speak, type, respond or react.
  • Fill your eyes and ears with good things, staying away from sights and sounds that will infect you rather than positively affect you.

@AngelaMMoore316